Justin Trudeau cracks whip, says Liberal candidates must be pro-choice

Federal Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons. (CP/Adrian Wyld)


With his announcement, Federal Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau broke with history, signalling a change in his party that is not sitting well with everyone.

"It is not for any government to legislate what a woman chooses to do with her body and that is the bottom line. I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills."

Liberal Party Leader, Justin Trudeau

Some commentators say this is a move away from the Liberal's "big tent" tradition -- creating an unnecessary division that could alienate a sizable portion of possible candidates and voters.

"Even though I'm a pro-choice Liberal, he really has opened up a can of worms that he won't be able to close again. There's a reason they call this one of the most difficult social issues in the country. And he may live to regret opening it up the way he did yesterday."

Warren Kinsella, a former advisor to Jean Chretien

Critics also say this move contradicts Trudeau's commitment to open nominations. For their perspectives on what this move means for the party, we reached out to two Liberal insiders and an Ottawa-based political strategist:

Do you agree with political leaders cracking the whip on divisive issues like abortion? Let us know what you think!

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This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Marc Appolonio.

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